Wednesday, January 20th, 2021

Troye Sivan ft. Kacey Musgraves – Easy (Remix)

The scores can’t all be split…


Leah Isobel: Troye Sivan is the brave artist who finally answers the question, “What would an emotionally vacant twink do with a pop music career?” I mean that as a compliment!

Wayne Weizhen Zhang: I’ve been critical of Troye Sivan in the past, but the solo version of “Easy” he released last July was easily my favorite single of his career: a glittering emotional gossamer woven from the tension of how easy it can be to fall in love and how hard your heart aches when it doesn’t work out. It felt like he had finally settled into a signature sound, where he could convey the heartbreak and complexity of a queer love story with crushing, tactile rawness. I like to think of this Kacey Musgraves version less as a remix and more, as the video suggests, a sequel. Not only has Mark Ronson really done a number on the production (the opening “WOO!” is nothing if not jarring), but Musgraves’ presence turns the vibe from solitary anguish to a wine-drunk friends-night-in after initial heartbreak. When she sings “We knew what was under the surface/And lived like it wouldn’t hurt us/But it hurt us” during the bridge, the song is no longer about a singular love story, but about the toxicity pervading the entire romantic ecosystem. The intimacy of the original is still top for me, but who am I to deny company this thoughtful, this commiserative?

Joshua Lu: The original “Easy” was atmospheric and evocative but typical of Troye Sivan’s music, with echoing, vocoded vocals and vague synths that were likely meant to seem wistful and meaningful but instead sounded like excess noise. This updated instrumental grounds the song with an actual buildup and a steadier rhythm, but the echoing vocals feel like they’re constantly getting in the way of the song. Kacey Musgraves’s voice is lovely, and thankfully free of that effect in the second verse, which is the real bonus — the new lyrics enhance that angle of self-blame undercutting the song, giving it a much-needed extra dimension. Yet it still feels as though the song could have been pushed much further, in terms of both sonics and content.

Katherine St Asaph: You’re hot and you’re cold, you’re yes and you’re no, you’re really making me wish Kacey, who sounds gorgeous and floaty here, went full pop alongside her country peers.

Thomas Inskeep: Hearing Kacey Musgraves on a sparkly, ’80s-esque Mark Ronson remix is initially jarring, but her vocal pairing with Sivan is ace, as is the song, as is Ronson’s remix. “You made it easy” is right.

Aaron Bergstrom: I certainly didn’t expect Troye Sivan to pivot to early-2000s Norwegian synth-pop, but it’s hard to argue with the results. “Easy” sounds like it could be a single from Melody A.M. or Riot On An Empty Street, and I mean that as the highest possible compliment. Erlend Øye is a treasure.

Alfred Soto: This impossibly wan Australian has worked to hone his music so that the moos of longing and the damp confessionals resound less than the gem-like expressions of lust. “Easy” straddles both sides of his songwriting. The original “Easy” earns a [7] for coming on like Timothée Chalamet getting quite comfortable with his Elio side (the “woo!” helped too). But Kacey Musgraves, late of confessionals but never damp about them, has no place on a queer love song. 

Vikram Joseph: The original mix of “Easy” felt like both the consummate Troye Sivan song and a step forward — the motorik-pop pulse of “Bloom” sprinkled with the soft-focus, glittery synth melodies of the Blue Neighbourhood singles, but with more complex, adult emotions than he’d taken on previously. Kacey Musgraves is rarely an unwelcome presence, but her verse offers Sivan’s protagonist a form of absolution that undermines the song a little. We see her taking on blame (“I know I’m not easy, darlin'”) where in the original second verse Sivan had to face up to “the rock in my throat / the hair on my coat / the stranger at home.” I also miss the deeply corny, painfully ’80s synth solo after the second chorus. That aside, Mark Ronson thankfully treads lightly on the remix — it’s slightly faster, a few flourishes here and there (and that iconic “woo!” left intact). For its protagonist “Easy” is full of guilt and regret, but for us as listeners it’s a jolt of serotonin, a simmering night-drive bop to keep on ice for when we’re actually allowed to drive somewhere again.

Al Varela: Troye and Kacey Musgraves make an excellent duo, each with their own brand of yearning that sounds magnificent coming from their voices — especially Kacey’s, whose delivery of the line, “Cuz you made it easy, darlin'” melts my heart every time. There’s something about music that makes you feel like you’re blurring past the city lights flashing against the cold night sky, taking in the sights with your past love in your mind, all the emotions of their love and their departure rushing through your head as you lose yourself in the world around you. That’s what this remix of “Easy” feels like: a rush of light that goes through so many emotions and hits you with every single word.

Reader average: [7.5] (2 votes)

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2 Responses to “Troye Sivan ft. Kacey Musgraves – Easy (Remix)”

  1. “emotionally vacant twink” is definitely a sizable demographic

  2. and every single one of those twinks would make an “80s” synthpop song featuring kacey musgraves – only troye would add the ‘woo!’ though